Eatery - Umami Burger (CA)
338 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805
Pricing - $$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Burgers
I still remember people telling me last year that I needed to check Umami Burger out but at that time, my gas-guzzling car would not have been kind to me if I decided to drive out to Santa Monica for a burger (no matter how good). However, since I've gotten a more economical car, I've had the option to go and alas, I guess my lack of burger craving hasn't fueled me there. SO, thank you to Umami for opening up Orange County locations (and many, to boot!). I finally made it out to the fresh & new Anaheim location for some gorging.
First of all, can I just say that our waitress "Ruby" (her actual name was Jessica - more on that later) was awesome and very informative? She even let us in on their "secret menu" items which we gladly ordered one of. So we started off with our old school soda drinks of Bubble Up, Cool Mountain Black Cherry, and Bunderberg Ginger Beer. Then we got a sampler of their Umami ketchup, jalapeno ranch, Diablo sauce, and garlic aioli to go along with our secret cheesy tots and the popular smushed potatoes. Those cheesy tots were amazing. They were fat and bursting with potato and cheese goodness. Imagine a giant tater tot made of sizable potato chunks of which all the spaces in between were filled with melted gooey cheese. Add in a crunchy, golden brown exterior and some dipping in that Diablo sauce, and you've got appetizer ambrosia. As for their smushed potatoes, there was nothing soggy about that crispy skinned potato slice dish. The skin was perfectly browned and the potatoes substantial. With the garlic aioli, they packed a powerful punch.
So after we had devoured our sides, we got our savory burgers. I ordered the Manly Burger (beer-cheddar cheese, smoked salt-onion strings, bacon lardons, and a medium-cooked beef patty) to the confusion of one of the servers - he thought it was for Duc, the only guy in our group, but I had to redirect him to me. I was hungry; what can I say? It really was a manly burger full of huge chunks of bacon lardon and crispy, oily onion strings. It was quite a hefty burger, despite its small-ish size.
I luckily also got to try my dining buddies' burgers too. Duc had the Umami Burger (shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, Parmesan crisp, and umami ketchup) which was very savory as its namesake so called it. My friend got the Truffle Burger (house-made truffle cheese and truffle glaze) which was overwhelmingly truffle-y. I love truffle so this would have been great had it not been so greasy. What's cool about all the burgers is that they had a giant U stamped on top of their special buns which were (as our waitress told us) specially made for the Umami chain; these were Portuguese style baked with milk and honey so gave a nice sweeter taste to our burgers.
We then couldn't resist dessert. We split the L.A. Creamery's ice cream sandwich (made with Straus Organic Dairy) of cookies 'n cream ice cream between dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie and the cake monkey pie (cherry almond) with boozy breakfast ice cream on the side (Kahlua based ice cream with cookie bits). They were quite good but not amazing. I'll give to them that these were definitely unique concepts though. As for the meal overall, though the food was pretty good in general, the prices were a bit higher than what we wanted (thus the rating). Nevertheless, it was a nice space with great service; I liked the overall theme which even gave the workers there fake names as they wore uniforms similar to old-school mechanics' shirts with the most popular names of the decade (which is why our Jessica wore a shirt saying she was Ruby).